Senator Leila de Lima is calling for an investigation into the human rights violations during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which has been extended until April 11. Two people have died after being punished by police officers for violating the imposed curfews. Darren Peñaredondo was forced to do 300 squats on April 1, after which he suffered a stroke and later died. Ernanie Lumban Jimenez died on April 9 after being arrested and beaten up.
Rodrigo Duterte’s May 5 order to detain people who do not wear masks or wear them incorrectly also poses another risk of human rights violations. The National Union of Philippine Lawyers (NUPL) criticizes, that legal foundations and guidelines for this are deficient. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and rights groups point to conditions in already overcrowded prisons that promote the spread of viral diseases such as COVID 19 and will worsen with mass incarceration.
In the article “Philippines: Country faces health and human rights crisis one year into the COVID-19 pandemic”, Amnesty International not only highlights the critical state of health care and infrastructure, but names the government’s (inadequate) response as a “serious human rights issue.” On the one hand, medical personnel and marginalized and poor population groups are exposed to increased health risks, and on the other hand, they are as well as human rights defenders increasingly affected by red-tagging. Amnesty International already reported on the continuous and manifolded violence against human rights defenders in March.